Telangana official clears air around online fantasy sports, says “norms for fantasy gaming soon”

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A senior state government official said on Wednesday, that the Telangana state government is formulating new rules for online and fantasy games, which will encourage self-regulation and game development in the state.

Jayesh Ranjan, Telangana’s principal secretary for industries and commerce and IT, said that the current situation surrounding fantasy sports is “a bit confusing and complicated,” but the state government is introducing new rules to make it a role model for other states.

“There have been setbacks in Telangana in the past. I personally took on this responsibility to obtain a very simple and industry-friendly regulation, rather than the existing regulation. I have consulted everyone in this field.

“The regulatory project we have drawn up has been shared with everyone. I am preparing for the introduction of this progressive regulation in our state,” Ranjan said at a seminar organized by the Indian Fantasy Sports Federation (FIFS).

 He said that the current laws and regulations in Telangana are mainly promoted by the police department because they have some concerns about how online games happen.

“The new regulations we made have been shared with the police department. They are involved in all processes. Only after they are fully satisfied will we take them to a new level before our ministers, legal department cabinets, etc.

“It is a matter of time, but I can assure you that the Telangana regulation will not only encourage self-regulation but also encourage development. I am very confident that this will also become a model for other states,” Ranjan said.

Rameesh Kailasam, CEO of  Indiatech, indicated that a series of court rulings have completely clarified and granted the legality of online games, including fantasy sports. However, in some states, such as Telangana and Assam, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Sikkim, and Nagaland. If money is involved in this type of online gambling, it is not allowed. 

NIC retired officer and FSRA president Bimal Jhulka said that fantasy sports are a booming industry in India. It has surpassed the United States with 120 million users and contributed 300 billion rupees to the national treasury. 

The fantasy sports sector was said to have the potential to contribute Rs 13.5 billion to the national treasury through taxes, create 12,000 jobs, and attract Rs 10 billion of foreign direct investment.

Uttar Pradesh Law Commission Chairman Anmitar said that when it comes to gambling and games, the difference between the two is very small: any game can become a game, and the game is not good. 

“Gambling should not be allowed. Online games and fantasy sports also have some shortcomings. The new generation is addicted to them. There are also various online scams in the name of online gambling. In the recent past, some games have incited suicide, “said Mittal. 

He said that the Law Commission redefines cyberspace based on a proposal submitted to the government regarding online games. 

“In terms of the configuration of Fantasy Sports, UP., We propose in the new law that there should be a regulatory agency because there is no self-regulatory agency or power to control such activities. The Internet has no borders. Operators in India must have a license. Fantasy sports are completely different from online games. Skill games need to be developed,” Mittal said.

Deepak Bagla, director and CEO of Invest India, said that once 5G services are launched in India, online games are expected to get a huge boost.